Who is Liable for a Swimming Pool Drain Accident?

In most cases, a property owner is usually liable for a swimming pool drain accident. However, a manufacturer, maintenance company, or even the victim may share liability. Below, we discuss when these parties may be liable for a swimming pool drain accident.

How Premises Liability Laws Affect Fault for a Pool Drain Accident

Georgia’s premises liability laws require property owners to maintain safety and quality standards on their property. Georgia’s premises liability law states:

Where an owner or occupier of land, by express or implied invitation, induces or leads others to come upon his premises for any lawful purpose, he is liable in damages to such persons for injuries caused by his failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.

This essentially means that property owners are liable for accidents occurring on their property by anyone invited to the property. So, if a friend invited you to her house for a pool party, this would be an express invitation.

And if you visited a public pool during its hours of operation, this is an implied invitation to the premises. In both these cases, the property owner — either the homeowner or the pool owner — is liable for your swimming pool drain accident injuries. However, property owners do have one layer of protection.

Trespassers Are Not Entitled to Injury Compensation

If someone was trespassing and suffered a swimming pool drain injury, the property owner would not be responsible. Property owners are only responsible for people they invited onto their property. So, someone who suffered injuries in a pool drain accident afterhours would not be able to claim damages even if the drain was dangerous or broken.

But there is one exception to this rule for trespassers: if the trespasser was a child, the property owner may be liable under the attractive nuisance doctrine.

Attractive Nuisances

An attractive nuisance is a manmade object that a child might find attractive. Examples of attractive nuisances include trampolines, abandoned vehicles, discarded refrigerators, and swimming pools.

Young children do not fully understand how trespassing on someone else’s property could be dangerous. For this reason, Georgia’s attractive nuisance laws compel property owners to make trespassing more difficult. That includes installing self-locking gates that meet certain specifications.

If a property owner fails to take measures to prevent children from trespassing, he or she could be liable for any injuries a child suffers in a pool drain or other type of swimming pool accident.

A Maintenance Company’s Liability for A Pool Drain Accident

If a company tasked with maintaining a pool, whether public or private, determines a pool drain is broken, it has a duty to let the owner know. If the maintenance company knew the drain was broken but did not alert the owner, it could be liable for any injuries that result.

A Manufacturer’s Duty to Produce Safe Products

A manufacturer must only release safe products into the market. If a company manufactures a faulty or dangerous product, it can be liable for any injuries that result from its use. Pool drains that use an older design can cause serious injuries or even death.

When the Victim Might Be Liable for Pool Drain Accident Injuries

We discussed a trespasser’s liability for their own injuries in an above section; however, a victim might also be liable if he ignored signs that warned swimmers of a dangerous drain or did something else that caused his injuries.  

Recovering Compensation for a Swimming Pool Drain Accident

If we are able to prove another party was liable for your or your child’s pool drain accident injuries, you may be entitled to any of the following:

  • Medical bills: This can include any immediate care costs and any that might be required in the future, e.g., a near drowning accident can cause severe brain damage, this might require round-the-clock care for the rest of the victim’s life
  • Lost wages: If you needed to take off work to recover, you are entitled to compensation for those losses.
  • Lost earning capacity: If your injuries caused you to work a lesser-paying job or retire completely, or if you had to quit your job to care for your child who suffered injuries, you are entitled to the money you would have made.
  • Pain and suffering: Dealing with a near drowning or losing a child in a drowning accident can cause much physical and emotional pain and suffering. You deserve compensation for it.

Call an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney

If you were involved in an Atlanta swimming pool drain accident recently, reach out to S. Burke Law. Our premises liability team has represented Atlanta residents in a diverse range of cases.

Our consultations are free. Call us today: 404-842-7838.